This article will help people who are wondering what software accountants use. Whether you’re looking to become a CPA, or you’re a business owner who wants the best software to run your books, this article will help guide you through some of the most commonly used accounting software.
Accountants use many different software types based on their needs. Overall, their goal is to find software that can encompass all their needs without compromising on accuracy and ease of use. Some types of software are more self-guided, and others require more professional experience to properly use.
Below, we’ll talk about some of the common software used by accountants and those who need to perform accounting tasks. Also, if you’re a beginner looking for good accounting software, we’ll give you a few tips on finding the right tools for you.
What is The Top Software for Accountants?
If you wanted a simple answer to this question, then you may be disappointed. However, after reading through this guide, the decision will be much more clear. We’ll break down why some software works better for certain situations, and why you should avoid software in others.
Why is the decision often difficult? Well, as we know, sometimes information can be a bit vague. When it comes to software, you need to narrow everything down so that you’re finding the right product for you.
If you buy the first “software for accountants” that you can find, you may miss out on many important details. For example, a small business owner will need something different than a large business owner. Also, a sole proprietor will need something different than a business with multiple employees.
If someone runs out and buys the first accounting software for “businesses,” they may end up being shorted or overwhelmed. Some software is designed for trained professionals, making it difficult for non-accountants to pick up. Some software might be designed for small businesses, and if a large business tries to purchase it, they may be left wanting more options.
As you can see, it’s important to vet all software to ensure it fits your needs. In the next section, we’ll describe top accounting software.
Looking at 3 Common Choices for Accounting Software
Accounting is a broad term that can encompass many different things. For example, some accounting software will be specific to taxes, while other accounting software will be geared toward invoicing and billing. Still, other accounting software may be more for small businesses or large businesses and some might need accounting software to manage investments.
In the next sections, we’ll look at three types of accounting software. We will look at who the software is best for, how much it costs, some of the best features, and some of the pros and cons.
Also, we’ll talk about whether these different types of software have free trials, so you can check them out for yourself.
Here are three common types of accounting software:
Below, we’ll look at these in more detail.
QuickBooks by Intuit: Accounting Software
This software is best for individuals or small businesses who need tools to manage cash flow, track and arrange receipts, and run reports for various metrics. Intuit is a very well-known company perhaps best known for its TurboTax software and various collaborations. Let’s talk about who this software is best for.
Best for: QuickBooks will be great for small to medium-sized businesses. They have various tiers of service depending on the size of the company, going from a single person up to businesses with multiple employees and contractors. Due to the popularity of QuickBooks, it’s also a great option for a beginner, as there are many online resources and tutorials on how to use it effectively. Now let’s talk about price.
Price/free trial: The price of QuickBooks will depend on the options chosen. Some people will need more features or more computing power, and the pricing reflects that. At the start, there is the single-user price, which is about $30 per month. The multi-user price is around $85 dollars per month. However, these are the prices before promotions, and QuickBooks often gives new users several months at a major discount.
Key Features: The Quickbooks software can send estimates and track taxes. Also, with the larger plans, users can track inventory and project profitability. Not only that, but users can manage 1099 contractors. Further, invoices and payments are simple.
User Experience: Quickbooks is easy to use, and nearly anyone can pick it up with a little practice. Quickbooks will walk users through the experience, allowing them to use the software to their full potential.
Pros and Cons: QuickBooks is a well-known accounting tool that’s designed for small to medium-sized businesses. It has an affordable price point, and it’s not terribly difficult to learn. However, it may not have all the advanced features needed for especially large businesses. Let’s talk about another accounting software.
Xero: Accounting Software
Xero is accounting software that works great for small businesses and accountants. This software is designed for ease of use and it’s made so that multiple people can access it, be it employees, managers, accountants, or bookkeepers. Xero can be accessed from a mobile app, and it has a relatively affordable price. Let’s look at some more features.
Best for: Xero is best for businesses and accountants to track spending and manage expenses. This software can be connected to banks to help keep track of spending and income. Not only that, but the built-in functions can help with compliance and security. Now let’s talk about prices.
Price/free trial: Xero has an affordable price point for any sized business. For sole proprietors or very small businesses, there is an option for $12 per month. For growing businesses, there is an option for around $40 per month. And for larger and established businesses, there is an option for about $65. For those who just want to give this software a try, they offer a 30-day free trial. Let’s talk about some key features.
Key Features: Xero offers software for the new business owner or the professional accountant. In fact, for professional accountants, Xero has some great options for client management. These tools allow professionals to grow their businesses while staying organized and producing results.
User Experience: Xero has a simple user interface. Everything will require some practice, but Xero has strong product support and training, ensuring that its clients know how to use the tools to their full potential. Also, with the free trial, you can take your time to decide if the tools are right for you.
Pros and Cons: Has great features for businesses both small and large, has a good free trial, and an entry-level price range. Let’s talk about one more software for accountants.
FreshBooks: Software for Accountants
FreshBooks is accounting software used by businesses and accountants to handle invoicing, estimates, and time tracking. Let’s look at some features.
Best for: This software is best for businesses that want to work directly with accountants, or who may need multiple accountants on the job. This software is especially geared toward those who need invoicing services. Let’s talk about prices and free trials.
Price/free trial: This service does come with a 30-day free trial that does not require a credit card – a truly free trial. They offer prices from $15 per month to $55 per month and often provide the first four months at a 60 percent discount. For larger businesses, they offer custom pricing.
Key Features: Cloud-based computing allows users to access their software from anywhere with an internet connection and a web browser. This makes it easy to access from a tablet, a laptop, or a mobile phone.
User Experience: Simple user experience, with good customer support if you ever get stuck.
Pros and Cons: Low price point for even the smallest individuals, including freelancers and start-ups. A truly free trial is nice to see.
Tips for Finding Good Accounting Software
Now that we’ve gone over some of the software commonly used by accountants and businesses who need accounting tools, let’s talk about a few things you can do to find the best software for you.
If you’re going to shop for a new shirt, you need to know your size, the required style, and the best balance between durability and price. Just like you need to know certain parameters for clothing, you need to keep a couple of things in mind when looking for accounting software.
Here are some tips:
- Know your budget: You should be thinking about getting the most for your money, and you need to nail down what you can afford.
- Take advantage of free trials: It’s easy to rush, and sometimes this is needed, but if you can, take some time to leverage truly free trials. There’s nothing like hands-on experience.
Let’s go over our final thoughts.
Final Thoughts on Software Used by Accountants
As you can see, accountants use all sorts of software, some for invoicing, some for taxes, and some for cash flow. Hopefully, after looking at three common types of software, you have a better idea of the software that will work for you.
Remember that before you go out and buy any software, you should ask around to see what industry professionals are using. Listen to their experiences. Also, take advantage of all free trials and do your best to compare software.